The Mahayana Buddhist Tradition And The Teachings Of The Bodhisattva

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The Mahayana Buddhist tradition has a complicated but very foundational altruistic view and practice as a part of somebody entering Buddha-hood. Buddhist philosophy is almost impossible to generalize because it relies on many complexities, but there are ethical values that cannot be ignored and I believe can be translated into our contemporary view of moral practice. Apart from Buddhist traditions, more contemporary moral theories draw out ideal approaches towards altruistic acts. When speaking of a person performing such acts, we might consider them a ‘do-gooder’, similarly a more controversial do-gooder takes morality to an extreme extent that might be considered ‘saintly’ (in either a secular or non-secular way). What I want to focus on in this paper is the notion of moral theory in Mahayana Buddhism and, in particular, the practices of the Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva, I will argue, is a ‘moral saint’ with aspects of consequentialism while having proper intention in terms of the Buddhist philosophy. In the Mahayana Buddhism religion there is a focus on moving away from suffering into long lasting peace and happiness (enlightenment). As interpreted in this school of thought, the teachings come from the Buddha and say that all suffering and all of our problems come from states of the mind that are ignorant, confused, and negative. On the contrary, all joy and good fortune come from positive and calm mental states. The goal is to move past suffering through the practices

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